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Rate My Professor:
A Rebuttal

Do not take. She makes you

talk no matter where you sit.

I greeted you at the door, another mother’s

child delivered. You looked away as if a lamb

had been slain. Your early sounds parsed, seeds

seeking ground – then whole thoughts crowned.

Ridiculous grader. She actually reads

your work instead of the deserved A.

So hard to put a score on this – this wrestling with

your age. Rubrics hold out such promise – then fold,

fade. Instead of systems: a new thought, like a starling

transporting a golden bough, was what we praised.

I didn’t come here to read ancient epics, poems, plays.

Remind me again how this gets an engineer employed?

Leaving Troy, Odysseus had one thing – Ithaca – in mind.

The gods gave him their scales: slay the proud boy in you

and die a king regaled. A cyclops, sirens, a bard spared among

suitors to sing your tale. All of them pleading: Set sail. Set sail.


Copyright © 2022  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.

Published in Sky Island Journal, Issue #23, Winter 2023. 

From the editors: [This poem] spoke to us immediately. Intensely personal yet wildly accessible, it transports and challenges us in ways that poems seldom do. This powerful, vulnerable, tapestry of human landscape is a meditation on the presence of absence and the absence of presence, and it bears fruit in such beautiful and unexpected ways... The elegance of your craft, and “Rate My Professor: A Rebuttal,” are two gifts that keep on giving; we discover more about them, and ourselves, with every reading.

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